Nine auspicious Thai desserts
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The nine auspicious Thai desserts are one of Thailand's culinary treasures. They are served on special occasions such as weddings, housewarmings, or ordinations. They confer blessings on the recipient. To deliver all the blessings at one time, the nine desserts are offered together on one tray.
Turning back to the past when Thailand was called “Siam”, it traded with other countries such as China or India for a long time. And they supported each other about trade including exchanging culture and food. Siam had a lot of friendships with other countries, they obtained and adapted food culture of other countries to suit their local condition. The ingredients or equipment included in food habits of Thai people made the new generation not be able to separate what is the real Thai dessert and what is adapted from the other food culture. For example the dessert that is made from egg yolk or baked came in to Siam in reign of King Narai by Maria Guyomar de Pinha or Thao Thong Kip Ma. Maria Guyomar was a Siamese woman of mixed Japanese-Portuguese-Bengali ancestry, she is known in Thailand for having introduced new dessert recipes in Siamese cuisine at the Ayutthaya court. Some of her dishes were influenced by Portuguese cuisine especially egg yolk-based sweets such as foi thong or thong yot. Siam not only received the dessert but gave precedence to those desserts by using them to be kind of auspicious dessert with the others. Every kind of nine auspicious Thai desserts has a good meaning that is why they are favored to be used in auspicious ceremony.
Thong yot is described as a sister of thong yip, due to the similarity in ingredients even though the form is different. Thong yod means "golden drop". It augurs wealth for the person who is served it.
Foi thong uses the same ingredients as thong yip and thong yot. Foi thong means "golden noodle" or "golden yarn". It bestows long lasting love and life. Mostly it is used in Thai wedding ceremonies to bless the bride and groom.
Thong ek is made of the same ingredients as foi thong, carved in the shape of a flower. It is said to be the most difficult and beautiful dessert of the thong desserts. Thong ek means "the one and only", "tops", "the best". It is conveys a blessing for a fruitful career.
Met khanun is made from mashed green bean coated with egg yolks. The name med khanun comes from its shape, which looks like jackfruit (khanun) seed (med). It symbolizes the support one will receive in one's career and in life.
Cha mongkut is a dessert made from incense-scented flour, bean flour, sugar, coconut milk, and roasted watermelon seed which looks like "kalamae" invented 200 years ago in the era of King Rama II. Ja mongkut means the "owner of the crown", the top position.
There is confusion between cha mongkut and dara thong. Dara thong is a crown-like dessert made of flour, egg yolk, sugar, gold leaf, roasted watermelon seeds, and jasmine-scented water, invented by Dame Jue Nakornrachaseni around 1938.
Khanom sane chan
The ingredients of khanom sane chan are two kinds of flour, eggs, coconut milk, sugar, and nutmeg. Named after a fruit called "luk chan" which has good looking form and great odor. Saneh chan means "charming Chan". It assures the receiver of love, adoration, and charm, mostly used in wedding ceremonies.
Khanom chan consists of tapioca flour, rice flour, arrowroot flour, coconut milk, sugar, and jasmine-scented water. In the past it was arranged into a rose shape, but the most common shape is stacking each layer together into nine layers. Kanom chan literally means "layered dessert". It symbolizes success and advancement.
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